Apex Igbo social-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday declared that though Nigeria is celebrating 23 years of civilian rule, it was still practicing elitist democracy.
The spokesman of Ohanaeze, Alex Ogbonnia, stated this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Enugu while reacting to June 12 Democracy Day celebration.
Ogbonnia said though he was happy that Nigeria was celebrating 23 years of uninterrupted civilian rule, it was yet to practice real democracy where the masses will participate in governance.
He decried the high cost of the nomination forms of political parties and high cost of campaigns in the country.
Ogbonnia said the high cost of nomination forms and campaigns was capable of making winners embark on primitive accumulation of wealth.
The Ohanaeze spokesman further decried the wide gap between the rich and poor in the country, saying because of the gap, the elites determine the voting pattern, saying the sad development is not how democracy is practiced.
“I’m happy that Nigeria is celebrating 23 years of civilian rule but in the real sense, what Nigeria is practicing is elitist democracy. The masses don’t have a say and the elites decide the voting pattern,” he stated.
He said it was unfortunate that the judiciary and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which are supposed to be independent are not, noting that their members are appointed by the presidency in Nigeria.
He, however, expressed happiness that the youths are rising up, saying with the way they are clamouring for their PVCs, there will be change.